Lead Generation: How Most Businesses Get It Wrong
Most businesses I consult with are wasting vast amounts of their marketing budget with this one mistake. It's a marketing error that Dan Kennedy brings up in several of his courses:
Only providing one reason for leads to respond to a business's messaging.
Last week, for instance, I saw this ad for a summer camp.
The call to action reads: "Register Today" with a link to their website.
The problem is that the ad only provides one reason to respond to their message: if they're ready to register. Parents need to be ready to sign up their kids RIGHT now if they're going to respond.
This excludes many more people than it includes:
It leaves out parents who may be ready to register their kids in a month.
Or in 2 months.
Or next year.
This camp paid lots of money to place this ad in front of a lot of people. But they're only inviting responses from a small fraction of their audience, essentially wasting their spend by excluding other relevant, potential parents and campers.
The Two Goals of Lead Generation
Lead generation, when properly utilized, has two goals.
#1 The first goal is to drive direct sales and hot leads.
That's what most businesses are already doing. It's what the summer camp was doing. But that goal only focuses on the 1% of the market who are ready to take action right now.
#2 The second function of lead generation captures and nurtures that group of prospects who aren't ready to purchase at this precise moment.
This addresses the other 99% of potential clients/patients/customers, and it's where the big money is made.
Your marketing piqued their interest. They noticed you and are open to what you're offering.Over a reasonable period of time, they will become more ready and therefore we should communicate with them as they warm up.
In order to effectively turn this larger group of prospects into clients, you must be familiar with the idea of threshold resistance.
High Threshold Vs Low Threshold
Billionaire mall developer Arnold Taubman coined the term Threshold Resistance. The basic idea is as follows:
Every offer that a business makes falls into a continuum of Low Threshold to High Threshold. High Threshold
A high threshold offer requires people to have already made a decision and therefore be willing to overcome a high threshold in order to take an action.
They have decided they need to speak with a financial advisor. They've decided they need to get plastic surgery. They've decided they're going to lease a new car.
As result, they're willing to take big and uncomfortable steps to move forward.
Some examples of high threshold offers would be:
Roofing Contractor: Free Estimate
Acupuncture: $27 Initial Treatment
Financial Advisor: Free Consultation or Workshop.
The thresholds above are too high for most leads.
Think about it.
We're trying to get someone to:
Pay attention to an ad.
Then click on the ad.
Then read more about the offer.
Then type in their contact details or pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.
Then get in their car and drive to an office.
Then speak with strangers (awkard).
Then get pitched to... (more awkward)
Who's going to do that? Only the 1% of your market who are ready to buy.
A low threshold offer is just the opposite. It doesn't pitch or sell anything. It doesn't contain your logo or anything that reeks of 'marketing.'
A low threshold offer consists of information that's valuable to your ideal audience.
In exchange for providing their contact details, they can download a free PDF Report or Video with valuable information.
A dentist trying to bring in more cosmetic procedures. Potential patients are invited to check out a report titled "What You Need To Know About Veneers and How The Perfect Smile Is Tailored To Your Facial Features." After giving their contact information, they can download the PDF.
Real Estate: "What's My Home Worth" Report. Leads put in their Street Address and contact info in exchange for a free valuation of their home.
Summer camp: "The 8 Most Important Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Summer Camp for Your Teenager."
They get access to this content in exchange for their contact information, from which you can build a list of warm leads.
With effective follow-up marketing, you can harvest this list in a reasonable time frame. Follow-up marketing includes a strategy to expose them to your messaging through re-targeting ads, email sequencing and more.
Combining High & Low Threshold Offers
High threshold and low threshold offers are not mutually exclusive. You can run campaigns to the same audience that offer several options.
The main point is to give potential leads several reasons to respond to your offer, instead of just one reason.
Here's an example of simultaneously having high threshold and low threshold offers in the same ad:
Example: A b2b company might run an ad inviting prospects to visit their booth at an upcoming expo. In order to provide additional reasons for a response, they could include the following message:
"Visit us at our booth! And if you're not able to make it to our booth, check out this new video on our site showing 3 tips to solve problem XYZ."
This allows them to still capture relevant leads who may not be at the expo.
This form of lead generation offers other benefits as well.
You'll reduce waste in your advertising budget by disqualifying irrelevant leads.
Additionally, you'll build trust and a deeper relationship with your prospects at each touch point in your follow-up marketing
This, in turn, can lead to more introductions and word of mouth referrals than if you had only focused on high threshold offers.
Most small- to medium-sized businesses are not running effective lead generation campaigns.
Some of them have a large list of prospects, but they aren't following up with them effectively. As a result, they're wasting a lot money in marketing and they're losing out on many potential opportunities for more profit.
Developing an effective lead generation campaign takes time and talent, but it can deliver excellent ROI. Rolling up your sleeves and working it out is well worth the effort and gives you an edge over your competition.